"You made him a star": Megyn Kelly digs into Donald Trump for COVID response, elevation of Dr. Fauci

In their second face-off, the former Fox News star asks the former president if he wants "a do-over"

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Staff Writer

Published September 14, 2023 1:30PM (EDT)

Megyn Kelly (Ivan Apfel/Getty Images)
Megyn Kelly (Ivan Apfel/Getty Images)

Megyn Kelly dug into former President Donald Trump about his COVID response and his administration's platforming of Dr. Anthony Fauci in an interview with the former president — the first since the two infamously faced off during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The verbal tussle took place on Kelly's SiriusXM, which aired on Thursday. As Trump interjected during Kelly's rundown of his previously stated reasons for not firing the former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Kelly shot back.

"Not only did you not fire Fauci, who is loathed by many — millions of Republicans in particular, but also some Democrats — You made him a star."

Kelly continued to recount the conservative criticism of the former president, noting that Fauci appeared "at every presser" and that Trump awarded the doctor a presidential commendation, before asking if the 2024 GOP frontrunner wouldn't want a "do-over" to walk it back. Trump denied knowing about Fauci's commendation, insisting that he "wouldn't have done it."

He continued, "I overrode many of the things he did. He was much less important to me."

Kelly, a vocal Fauci foe, however, continued to press the former president on why he didn't terminate the former director, pointing out Trump's propensity for firing.

"So, so yeah, I fired a lot of people. I fired Comey and that was one of the great firings. I fired Comey and then I fired a lot of other people in the FBI, and they were great firings because the deep state, and they were at work and they were not good people," Trump responded. "But I wasn't, I was not a big fan of Fauci."

He went on to take aim at his 2024 opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis', pandemic response in a back-and-forth with the host. After Kelly later asked again if he wouldn't want to go back on any of his early COVID policies or Operation Warp Speed efforts, Trump went on a tangent about the uncertainty at the onset of the pandemic, vaccines and mandates before bemoaning that he "never got the credit I deserve on COVID."